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5 Questions on the Tip of HR’s Tongue

Don’t let the title fool you, these awesome questions not only apply to HR but just about anyone in business today. Human Resources is (or is supposed to be) on the front line of people management. Work comes home with us, we think about it in our down time, we wonder about it when we are supposed to unwind and relax, we are asking critical questions. HR – good HR – is constantly asking questions to solve problems, drive innovation and efficiency.

In order to create a robust list of questions, I did a little crowd sourcing and crew sourcing – leveraging my network of HR professionals and dozens of personal colleagues to develop the best questions that should be on the tip of HR’s tongue.


Talent Acquisition and Retention

1. With the war for talented workers heavily touted, quality workers are increasingly harder to come by, which means employers have to have the type of environment in which employees want to work. Employees want to be trained, compensated, receive excellent benefits and have opportunities to grow their careers. HR must wonder, how do we find, recruit, train, onboard and retain the best of the best?



2. The rules of engagement change quickly and the laws used to govern HR are also changing swiftly. For instance, the Affordable Health Care Act, also known as Obamacare, has many costs associated with healthcare coverage which could possibly cause price increases for certain goods and services. Also by mandating coverage and accessing penalties and fines, the costs could hinder your employer’s profits. HR must ask how are these changes to the laws going to affect our business operations and the way we employ our people?


Performance Management/Development

3. The average tenure for workers in America is getting shorter and shorter; at last I read it was roughly 3.5 years.  That means employees – all employees – are looking for new opportunities and moving around quite a bit. This makes performance management and employee development very difficult and here’s why; the manager can’t develop and nurture the employees if he/she is looking elsewhere themselves. There’s no consistency or accountability in the process. With all this movement how can HR ensure performance management and leadership development are working properly?



4. Similar to Legislation by slightly different, with compliance issues, HR has to ensure that managing employee relations regarding sexual harassment, race discrimination, workplace bullying, cyber bullying, social media interaction, conflict resolution and sexual orientation/preference (which is different from sexual harassment). There are also new rules from the National Labor Relations Board. HR has to ask, what’s the latest in compliance? And how can we be sure we are following the guidelines appropriately?


Increasing Our Value

5. If you know anything about HR, we have been pining for a “Seat at the Table” and by “table” we mean the executive table in the boardroom of the C-SUITE. We want the Chief HR Officer title, influence and respect.  It’s been proven time and time again that companies that use HR to help create and implement business strategies outperform those that do not, yet it’s still a struggle. Many business owners want to relegate HR to an administrative function. HR saves money but many companies are willing to take chances and gamble that they can get away with bending and breaking the rules without getting caught. That’s a bad plan of action. How does HR increase its value to the corporation and create a strategic partnership?



chris fieldsChris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs and dispenses great (not just good) advice at Cost of Work. Connect with Chris via email at  

SmartRecruiters is the hiring platform that makes hiring easy. Use smart sourcing, collaborate with your hiring team to manage candidates, and make the right hire.

Chris Fields

Chris Fields is an HR professional and leadership guy who blogs and dispenses great (not just good) advice at Cost of Work & ResumeCrusade.